Even better, there is no reason why they can't have one guy be baptized for every male human who was ever born and who ever will be born...and do the same thing with some gal for and on behalf of all females. Or even economize further and just have one person be baptized for and on behalf of all people.
Supposedly, that's how the atonement works. It's a universal, one-time-does-all deal.
Then when the missionaries meet with Hiroshi Takahashi in a remote Hokkaido village and ask him if he wants to be baptized, they can add that it's a very convenient thing. He doesn't actually have to travel to some Mormon snorkeling pool and get wet. All he has to do is raise his right hand and affirm his acceptance of the baptism that was already done for him (and everyone else).
"Bow your head and say yes. Brother Takahashi, we will video tape you saying yes, so that your name can be placed on our membership roll."
"There, that wasn't hard at all, Brother Takahashi, and here's the bag of lollipops we promised. Of course they'r all grape flavored, just like we promised. Good luck on your 6th grade math exam next week. We know you'll ace it!"
What are names anyway? Just social constructs used by limited humans for the purpose of avoiding confusion when attempting to distinguish one human from another human. Names can be legally changed in a court. In some societies, for example, they didn't even bother giving females formal names among the peasantry. Among the noble and elite, they would often take on new names when elevated to different stations. What hapless clod of a Mormon priesthood holder is ever going to sort any of those kinds of things out. Answer: Nobody. And that's leaving aside the fact that for most people who lived and died a thousand or more years ago there are no records. Mormon genealogists actually can only go back a few generations before they hit Mirkwood...and after that it's nothing but fudging and piggybacking on royal lines (which may or may not be entirely fictional, since such lines were usually proclaimed for propaganda purposes to convince people that the violent gang boss who was declaring himself king was really someone special.)
God don't need no steenkin' names made up by mortals. Every sparrow is known. Every hair is counted. Does anyone seriously think that omniscient God's hands are tied because some Lester Lamebutt officiator in the temple mangles the pronunciation of a name beyond all recognition? Does a baptism become invalid because some church clerk in 1575 got distracted by a bee and then wrote some guys name as Derwin instead of Darrin?
The universal baptism would simply be performed for and on behalf of "everyone who has ever lived or ever will be born and live on this earth without having a true opportunity to accept the gospel and be baptized."
We don't have to worry about names. Getting and saying all the names of everyone who has ever lived is a completely hopeless task in any case. Mormons begrudgingly admit this all the time, when they mumble out the excuse that "God will take care of the ones who fall through the cracks". (Translation, if God really does require baptism for dead people who couldn't have been baptized when they were living, he will have to come up with some alternative mechanism in his magic kingdom on the other side of the veil because 95% of the names of people who lived in ancient times are lost forever. The records simply are not there. And what records do exist are often unreliable and dubious at best and can never be properly verified.
"What are names anyway? Just social constructs used by limited humans for the purpose of avoiding confusion when attempting to distinguish one human from another human. Names can be legally changed in a court."
Social constructs do not exist, they are just the cliché of this period of history. The concept of the "social construct" is a name in itself and part of post-modernist obscurantism and mysticism.
If you name something, you can control it, use it and identify it. Not just in occult terms but practical and scientific ones.
Of course names can be changed, but as long as there is some agreement as to what a name refers to, you can proceed.
The COJCOLDS is well aware that names have power. That is why Nelson has been so keen to drop the Mormon tag and why it is trying to emphasize "Jesus Christ" in its name.
as to the way that the term "social construct" is used/misused to obscure tangible reality and to wish away scientifically valid distinctions and nomenclature.
However, if there would be any area of human activity that would be a ripe candidate for the label "social construct" it would be the arbitrary or calculated naming of humans by other humans and the arbitrary or calculated naming of institutions for psychological effect. There is no reason to think that the result of labeling such activity as a "social construct" does means that the social construct can therefore have no impact on perception. In fact, that is the significance most often attached to the "social construct" concept. Social constructs manipulate perception where there is no underlying reality that would materially contradict the manipulated perception.
Just the fact that a person can "legally" change their name in a court of law is a clear indication that the term "social construct" applies (i.e. a name is an idea that has been created and accepted in a society.) Saying that James Griffindork, a 10-year-old human boy can work as a plow horse because he identifies as a plow horse would be a case where the "social construct" would conflict with an underlying reality, even if 75% of the community decided that they wanted to humor James and treat him like a plow horse. But what if James Griffindork legally changes his name to Peter Plowhorse? That would have the effect of law. To be valid, after the legal name change, his driver's license would have to show his name as Peter Plowhorse. The only underlying reality of importance is that his society, through acceptance of the court's authority to legally change names, has agreed that James Griffindork is now for all important legal purposes required to be identified as Peter Plowhorse.
In the case of Nelson's fiddling around with the notion of what is and is not the "acceptable" way of referring to the church he presides over, that too is the very essence of a "social construct". The underlying reality is that it's a man-made organization that pretends that it's founder, Joseph Smith, got face time with Elohim, Jesus and several glowing angels and that the organization is therefore fully endorsed and backed by those mythical beings. What Mormons prefer to call their fraudulent organization is a "social construct" of, by and for Mormons. The rest of us can laugh at their insane obsession with nickname protocol.
But I don't really have any love of the term "social construct". Let's just say I do not believe that names per se have any hocus-pocus magic in them that would be of any relevance to the ordinances that Mormons pretend to perform for dead people. If God counts every hair on every head and knows exactly what every sparrow is up to at any given moment, he can surely do whatever he feels is necessary to manage the ordinance situation for dead people. The idea that Mormons are going to be able to collect the accurate and true name by which every human who ever lived went by while alive and then perform every ordinance for and on behalf of each such person is ludicrous.
Funny--but, seriously, I used to wonder the same thing, when first learned about baptism for the dead, and for the same reason. And each dead soul doesn't require a separate body, because we would get baptized for many people. Therefore, couldn't we be baptized once, and the list of names be mentioned at that one baptism. It seemed so random! Then, we discovered that there were often several endowment rituals for just one person. Three of us in out RS temple group had the exact same name. It made no sense.
and I'm pretty sure that the General Authorities (at least those with an IQ north of 95) know that it's just busywork.
See my rant above on the pointlessness of trying to collect accurate records of the names for everyone who has ever lived on earth.
When the Mongolians invaded and completely wiped out towns in eastern Europe, destroying churches and looting and burning, how likely is it that they gently retrieved all of the church christening records and set them aside so that 900 years later they would be found in pristine condition by Mormons who could then harvest the names for their odd dead-dunking and other necro-ordinances?
How about all the people who lived in Pompeii in the year 0079? Pretty sure the records are a mess--even for the nobility. For the slaves they're going to be virtually nonexistent.
The Mormon temple practices can't withstand any serious scrutiny or application of logic.
Mormon temple work is an absurdity that is essentially a real-life manifestation of the group-think phenomenon ridiculed in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. Mormon temple work is nakedly ridiculous, but they've convinced a lot of people to simply accept it as sold to them and not ask questions.
Well they do have an an answer to that... usually along the lines of "it will all be sorted in the Millenium". Temple work is done for people's traceable ancestors. While some claim descent from Roman times and ancient China, most people cannot go beyond a few hundred years. My own ancestors cannot be traced in some lines due to political repression and violence which destroyed many of the records.
But never mind all the people whose records were destroyed, what about those who names were never written down in the first place?
With this line of thinking, every ordinance can easily be seen as pointless. Why baptise anyone at all...jesus was baptised, maybe he did it for everyone...just say you agree and imagine it being done and it’s done. Why have to take an action? How does doing something symbolic make it real and why would “god” care? If it’s symbolic, well just imagine the symbolism of it then. Or draw a picture of it and say a prayer.
Ordinances just scream “cult” big time. There is no point and it is all so ridiculous it’s funny. How I never saw this at the time, I don’t know.
Religion is ridiculous to me as a whole now. Thinking too much will do that. I should never have questioned anything!!
used the name of Jesus when he baptized Jesus or whether he referred to Jesus as "you"...you know...because Jesus was right there.
They looked perplexed.
I told them that the baptism of Jesus made no sense because it was a self-referential logic loop.
They looked perplexed.
I mentioned that if Jesus was perfect and committed no sin, the needed no remission of sins...and therefore he needed no baptism for the remission of sins.
They looked perplexed.
I mentioned that Jesus is the one who atoned for everyone's sins (because he was the only perfect being who could do it) and all baptisms call upon the baptized person to accept Jesus's atonement in order to be saved by Jesus. By being baptized, they accept Jesus as their lord and savior.
I went on to observe that this meant that Jesus formally accepted himself as his own lord and savior when he was baptized for the remission of sins, even though he was sinless and needed no remission of sins and John the Baptist performed the ordinance on Jesus by declaring that he had received authority from Jesus to perform this ordinance in Jesus's name.
But Jesus was right there.
Jesus didn't need an authorized agent to do anything in his absence. Jesus is the source of all authority. He could have done it to himself all by himself. He could have just said the prayer by himself and dipped into the water. Having someone holding your nose for you and push you under water is not really part of the ordinance.
They looked perplexed.
Then one of them said that Jesus did it to set an example.
I wanted to say: "Example of what? Insanity?"
But I was feeling polite that day and just said that it was a weird example because what Jesus did was completely different from what everyone else was supposed to do. Jesus simply accepted himself as the sole author of his own salvation and pledged loyalty to himself. Everyone else is supposed to acknowledge that they are hopelessly imperfect, damned beings who can only be saved by another--namely Jesus--and they must pledge eternal loyalty to another--namely Jesus--and accept him as their LORD.